Human Trafficking Panel

Indiana Wesleyan University hosted a panel discussion following the showing of the movie GirlRising with several hundred students, alumni, faculty, and staff in attendance. The movie is gaining popularity as many media outlets are taking interest like CNN’s News coverage.

On a local level IWU has joined in support through organizations like the Bastian Center at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Alumni are also living out the mission of IWU by making this world a better place. “I am involved in anti-trafficking work because I believe every person is a valuable child of God, and deserves love and dignity.” says IWU alumnae Jessica Thorne ’03 who is leading efforts with her organization featured on Purchased page. Jessica’s story is growing as others get involved. You can read how one Mission trip to Napel completely changed her life and defined her Calling.

The recent panel discussion at IWU was hosted by a student group led by Albert Prichard called IWU Doulos and The IWU Bastian Center. The event was sponsored by Charles Schwab & Co. You can see the Official Trailer here. The panelist included; Abby Kuzma, Deb Myers, James Luttrull Jr., and Jessica Thorne. 

Jim Luttrell, Grant County Prosecutor shared his thoughts during the discussion in answer to a few questions. Check out that audio clip here.


You can also check out what Jessica Thorne had to say at the event as well.

At the showing of the GirlRising film.
At the showing of the GirlRising film.

For additional information about the forum you can read Sarah Dougan’s article “Doulos organizes “Girl Rising” showing and Trafficking Forum” on The Sojourn.

Remembering Once Again – The Titans!

Do you remember the Titans? On February 14, 2015 we bring back the Titans!  It will be a weekend the IWU community will not easily forget.

From 1968 through 1988 the IWU Athletics Mascot was The Titans.
From 1968 through 1988 the IWU Athletics Mascot was The Titans.

Remember the Titans Men’s Basketball game is an annual tradition. Representing the athletes who have gone before us and who have begun the athletic legacy here at IWU. To commemorate this event our current Wildcats basketball team will sport the throwback uniforms from Marion College, the Titan jerseys (though thankfully, in my opinion, without the short shorts from the early 70’s and 80’s).

Titans Uniforms

It will be an exciting game with the Titans taking on Spring Arbor. The Luckey Arena will be full of enthusiasm filled with fans including alumni of all ages.

“We have celebrate champions in the past!” says Rick Carder, IWU Alumni Relaitons Director. At the top of the list include Titan alumni, Perry Frank (1983-86) with 2,452 points and Durand ‘Speedy’ Walker (1979-82) with 2,409 points continue to hold on to their records.

So come and cheer on the team! Tip-off time will be 3:00 PM on February 14th.

A reception is planned for Titan Alumni and their families which will begin at 1:00 pm held in the Wellness Center upper lobby area (just outside of the Luckey Arena).

Wildcat Game Schedule can be found at:


IWU Telesale – 20th Year!

Telesale 2015 is just around the corner – January 27 – 29.

telesale 2015 LIGHTS! CAMERA! BID!

TV Auction Live Stream
Telesale Auction Items
View Items Here
Online Auction
Bid on an item

View Telesale from 7pm – 10pm at:
Channel 51.1 (UHF)
Bright House Network channel 23
Oak Hill Cablevision channel 41
Swayzee Broadband channel 56

Join us as we bid a fond farewell to the IWU Telesale.   Telesale 2015

Indiana Wesleyan University’s annual Telesale has become a major hit with viewers and the businesses that support the event with merchandise and sponsorships.   This year’s Telesale features more than 600 items for auction. Many of these items are gift cards to area restaurants and retail stores.

Tune in:  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (January 27-29), 7 – 10 p.m.

About Telesale

Indiana Wesleyan University’s annual Telesale has become a major hit with viewers, sponsors, and businesses that support the event. Viewers love to bid on the merchandise, while sponsors and businesses gain positive exposure for their donation.

2015 marks the Telesale’s 20th year. Over $1.7 million has been raised to help provide scholarships, excellence in education and outreach opportunities for students who attend IWU.

You can capture some of the Telesale excitement by donating items for auction, provide a sponsorship, or simply call in and bid.

IWU One Voice and Alumni and Friends Reception in Grand Rapids, MI


One Voice imgAlumni and Friends of the West Michigan area!

You are cordially invited to an Indiana Wesleyan University Alumni & Friends reception.
This reception and worship experience will be held on SATURDAY – February 21, 2015 – 4:30 p.m.  at Kentwood Community Church, 1200 60th Street SE, Kentwood, MI 49508

Dr. Wayne Schmidt will share a brief update of the University and plans for the future. We will also be joined by One Voice. One Voice is a premier musical team from Indiana Wesleyan University which features live instrumentation and vocals. We will have great fellowship, fun, and food!

The cost is $5.00 for each adult. Kids are free. RSVP is required.  Please send or call in your reservation by Monday, February 14th. You may at the door but rsvp is requested.
Indiana Wesleyan University, Alumni Office – 4201 South Washington Street, Marion, IN 46953. Or contact us: 765-677-2110 or

This will be a wonderful opportunity for you to see old friends and make new ones.
Immediately following the reception, One Voice will participate in the worship service at Kentwood. You are invited to attend this service which begins at 6:00 p.m.

Indiana Wesleyan University

Greene County Daily World: Billie Jo Fritch, Greene County Health’s sixth clinic location 01/15/15

A life-long resident of Greene County and IWU Alumnae, Billie Jo Fritch was born and raised in Linton. She attended Indiana State University for her undergraduate nursing studies. She attended Indiana Wesleyan University for her master’s level and nurse practitioner studies. Greene County Daily World: Local News: Greene County Health-Shakamak Clinic opens as Greene County Health’s sixth clinic location 01/15/15.

Before You Take Down Your Christmas Lights

Many of us take time before the New Year to take down the Christmas tree and decorations and pack them away.  There are some that decorate their homes in elaborate ways like Clark Griswald in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where every inch of his house was covered in lights. Griswald familyPonder this before you pack away all your Christmas decorations; there are some that share the Christmas season for all to see and experience. So, before you take down all your Christmas lights consider IWU alum Eric and his wife Kristen. While taking elaborate steps in decorating their home and displaying festive lights on into the New Year, they do so with a special fundraising cause!

Eric and Kristen Greenwald are from Huntersville, NC who have for several years have decorated their home into one of the most sought after Christmas displays in the area. Using over 21,000 holiday lights choreographed to Christmas music and taking up to six-weeks to put up, they have transformed their home into a Christmas display. It brings brings smiles and amazement to all who see it and it raises money for a special charity.

Eric is a graduate of IWU with a double degree in Marketing and Business Administration. In 2007 he married Kristen who graduated from Central Michigan University. She helps him with the incredible task of connecting and assembling the elaborate synchronized show of lights. Today Eric works in the Digital Marketing department with the Bank of America and manages all of their digital videos. He is active in his community and participates in the Bank of America volunteer day. Eric says that this open his “eyes to the need our community has and it’s a great team building experience.”

A Child's Place charity
A Child’s Place

See video of house display here.

In 2013, the display won a national award for the “Most Creative Display” from Tacky Light Tour, a well-known website that lists displays and holds annual competitions. (Read more here) This year they topped their display with an opportunity to donate to a local organization that helps homeless children. The organization is called A Child’s Place. (Read more here) A Child’s Place (ACP) works to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education. According to the Greenwald’s; “As of December 28th, you have given $2,445.94 to A Child’s Place. This total is beyond our wildest expectations for our first year collecting donations, and we want to thank each and every one who has donated to A Child’s Place.” (Read more here) His goal was to raise $750. Eric tells me that as of today, New Year’s eve “the fund is up to $2,616.54.” It is hard to know how many cars actually drive by his decorated home but Eric says;

I look out the window and I would be happy if I saw one car enjoying the music and lights. This year, I was outside on the weekends directing traffic, with four cars always watching the show, and a line of anywhere between four to nine cars waiting to be able to watch.

It is impressive enough to think that his hard work is helping children who have extreme needs but Eric further shared with me that he hopes to have a Christian witness as well.  He says that there are two connections he hopes people make.

The first and most obvious, is that our display features a nativity scene. But not every kid knows what this is. I have heard kids call it many different things (they aren’t familiar with the proper term ‘nativity scene’), which opens the door for their parents or myself to explain what the silhouetted figures are, and what they represent.

Second, viewing Christmas lights are a great family activity – and it’s free! A majority of vehicles that stop by are minivans or SUVs full of kids. I remember as a kid my parents taking me around town looking at lights. With the true meaning of Christmas being lost on buying presents, receiving the right presents, etc., (I hope that it is a) quality family time (that does not) get forgotten.

IWU Alumni are making a difference; they are making this world a better place as World Changers. Their faith is interwoven into their story. When asked about his IWU college experience he said;

Attending IWU was a great experience. I came in as a transfer from a state school, and I wished I had gone to IWU all four years.

I met incredible friends, who I still am close with today. The staff pushed me to my potential, which I didn’t receive at the previous school. Being surrounded with a fellowship of Christian believers built a Godly foundation for me and contributed to who I am today.

Eric shared with me that he hopes that this is a tradition that will continue. At first he was motived by the competition to have the biggest and best display. He continued;

When I switched to the animated display, I saw cars pull up with kids hanging out of all windows possible (including sunroofs), clapping, singing and some are even brave enough to dance in my driveway to the music and lights. Kids and families love the lights and I am humbled that I am on their list of yearly traditions. Now, the lights have turned into a way where the viewers can give back by donating to A Child’s Place.

You can read more here.

Article from newspaper -
Article from newspaper – Lake Norman News

Bald Tires and Bald Men with Pigtails

Today’s entry is provided by guest blogger, Dr. Jerry Pattengale. This article is a reminder to never underestimate the potential of people.)

Dr. Jerry Pattengale
Dr. Jerry Pattengale

The Baja truck parked at Tervis Tumblers looked hideous.

It was a faded blue 1995 Chevy 1500 with a massive lift kit, mega bald tires, and a flaked-chrome tubular bumper. Mud splattered on the sides. A few crumpled beer cans in the bed. We had just come from a friend’s house in Siesta Key with two Rolls Royces among his other luxury cars, so the contrast was striking.

“What are some people thinking?” spewed from my lips before I had thought of its self-implication. When I arrived on Indiana Wesleyan University’s campus in 1975 I was driving the epitome of hideous. Can you say “Souped-up Gremlin?” The extra wide tires had scrapes from the wheel wells. The cheap black paint was opaque from the car wash. The doors were so heavy on their hinges they usually were ajar. The rubber seal around the back hatch looked like reassembled confetti and leaked like a sieve.

And Telly Savalas had more tread on his head than my front tires.

But that wasn’t the worst of it.  No. No. It was the five-foot whip CB antenna. What I had considered cool likely looked like Pluto with big paws akin to Cragar rims. If the antenna had wedged on a streetlight I’d likely still be spinning.

Hideous. I must have looked ridiculous, and as I reflected my wife affirmed me. She laughed.

The day prior in Sarasota, Florida, a plump man in Speedos and an Under Armour shirt made my own spare tire jiggle. Hideous. Without him hearing, I whispered “How’d you like to see me in that hot outfit?” But before a minute passed I started chuckling, for I had worn some pretty bizarre things myself. Never Speedos, but in high school I wore a suit that looked like a table cloth with a large elastic runner. The pants and jacket were a bright aqua pattern of eight-inch squares – blue and white. The waste-high jacket had a six-inch stretchy lower trim.

I looked like a walking checkerboard for giants, or a jester trying out for the Bee Gees. And to accent my misery, I wore platform shoes and a white belt replete with metal rings.

Hideous. Simply comical. And as I reflected openly, my wife affirmed me once again with laughter.

A couple of days later (Nov. 20, 2014), I saw a haircut in Oklahoma City that about caused carbonated liquid to project from my nostrils. It’s hard to keep down a Pepsi when you watch an otherwise classy fifty-something man turn, and a long skinny pig tail dangles from the back of his shiny bald head. But this time I kept my thoughts private, and never even mentioned it to my wife.

She knew from pictures about my 70s shag haircuts and modified mullets. I certainly had no right to laugh, other than about myself.

And that’s really where all of us should be – cautious in our condemnation. I’m working on it, because some indeed appear hideous to all but the owner. And for reasons that largely escape us, we have had our own hideous moments.

This past week an accomplished woman, Alice Wills, was reminiscing with my wife about my hideous years. Oh, she’d never use those words, but she was complimenting me on some recent activities while looking backwards to my college years. She’s perhaps the only librarian alive with a megaphone whisper.

Such statements from life’s librarians mean more to me than you might imagine, as national exchanges should never be taken more seriously than those local friends who have been part of your journey. Perhaps she was thinking of the Gremlin as she laughed of Jerry the student – she was the Librarian. Or of my haircuts that even a Flowbee would have improved. Or, maybe she overheard me singing in chapel, and knew I had the musical range of shot put and the tone of Minnie Pearl. No, she never made fun of me, just wished me the best when I shared my highfalutin dreams—as she noted to Cindy, my enduring wife.

Alice never joked at my social awkwardness with girls, as I joked a lot not knowing if any of them would date a poor boy from Buck Creek, Indiana. During my first semester I camped out in the library, her domain. Partly because the girl I liked studied more than I used to fish back home. And, partly because the library was free and I was broke.

Alive never wrote me off for being too creative at times. I once borrowed aerosol cans and a bowling ball for a date. I set them up and we bowled – but made one serious mistake. I did it next to the Grant County courthouse and more than one policeman noticed. And, the girl seemed to as well; that was our only date.

Yeah, I still see a lot of hideous things. Cars with accessories that can’t be maintained, like monster tires. Tattoos that probably were barley and hops inspired. Teeth with decorations that looks like a treasures from History Channel’s Gold Rush. Fingernails that could pick a lock through a thick fence. Nose rings that look like, well, you know. Clothes that will show up on the People of Walmart website. And the worst, tweets and blogs that bespeak of lobotomy scars.

But behind the eyes of those we label bizarre are indeed holy creations, perhaps with future contributions far beyond those more attractive (I Samuel 16:7). Even the silly still have souls with eternal significance. I still have my faults, warts and do-overs, but am glad the Alices in my youth didn’t discard me because of appearance (John 7: 24). We need to correct but not crush while sharing   principles and not just perceptions. Eventually I learned that if you try to make an impression, that’s the impression you make. And, I learned it’s still okay to laugh, but to keep a mirror handy (especially on the beach).

© Paxton Media, first published Chronicle Tribune, 11.23.2014 – used by permission.


Jerry Pattengale was recently named Indiana Wesleyan University’s first University Professor. He serves as Exec. Dir. for Education at the Museum of the Bible (DC) and has distinguished appointments at Baylor University, Sagamore Institute, Tyndale House, Cambridge, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and serves on the boards of Religion News Service and Yale’s Jonathan Edwards Center.


It’s Contagious! IWU Alumni Demonstrate Love Through Selfless Acts of Kindness!

Health scares and epidemics have been in the news lately, serious flu outbreaks and Ebola to name a few. Many worry because these illnesses are contagoius! While millions have received the flu vaccine in hopes to avoid the contagious flu virus, many will also check the US MAP on the spread of influenza. If you are that person here click here!.  But that is not what I am thinking about.

As important as it is to know about influenza and Ebola today I am looking at another kind of activity that is very contagious at this time of year. It is the selfless acts of kindness that many of our alumni are involved in. I know that you may be one of those who volunteer your time to help others in or community that have needs. There is something about serving with others that gives us a good feeling inside. I know that there are many of our alumni that are apart of organizations that serve others as well. Today I want to tell you about a few World Changers that are making a difference in the lives of people. Their selfless acts of kindness are contagious!

Austin Bonds, CEO and Founder of Metro Relief
Austin Bonds, CEO and Founder of Metro Relief

One of those is alum, Austin Bonds. He is serving in an organization that seeks to mobilize, empower, restore, and satisfy the need of the oppressed. He is CEO and founder of a relief organization called; Metro Relief. It is located in The Colony, Texas.

Austin is a 2001 ministry graduate who later completed a Masters in Ministry degree in 2010. He grew up in Marion, Indiana knowing the difficulties of being poor. He shared in a recent interview that while his parents loved him, “We were poor because of their choices that were addiction related.” His early life was difficult. In fact, his mother was murdered in 1997. Yet, in spite of this hardship, he was able to attend and graduate from college and launch a ministry that he runs today. He is the CEO and Founder of Metro Relief.

His vision and calling for ministry began with an invitation from IWU faculty, Dr. Wilbur Williams to go to New York City on a mission trip. “Darcy, my wife and I were looking to be in missions of some sort. We looked at places that served people. I spent some time in New York City. But in 1992 Wilbur Williams took a team to New York City.” Austin shared that it was the influence of Dr. Williams that compelled him to study at IWU. In 2011 he launched Metro Relief, following his dream and calling with support from another alum, Daniel Stoltzfus. (I will share more about him later in the article.)

His ministry is unique because he goes to where the needy are. They take their ministry bus to neighborhoods of greatest need. “The bus becomes part of the relationship with the people.” He added, “We build a bridge with the people with the bus.” In a recent effort his team gathered hundreds of socks to help the hurting. View Video Here. From their website;

“Metro Relief is a not-for-profit organization based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Our goal is a simple one: Go to the people, meet the people, and serve the people. At the core of our mission is Christ’s charge: “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Austin said that the ministry motto that reads, “These things we do so that others may live” guides him and his volunteers. Austin says about the resources his team brings to people is through a bus. He says that “the bus is part of the relationship with the people in need.” He takes it to some of the roughest parts of south Houston and people welcome he and his voluneers. “The food we bring is the attraction. Once they get to the bus we try to help them. The resources we provide are what bring them to us so that we can care for them”, says Austin.

We can support Austin and his ministry through prayer. Austin told me that, “The main thing is to create a model that we can duplicate this in other cities. We want to get to other cities where there is need. We are trying to grow, so any support will be appreciated.” You can find them on Facebook.

The team leading and making a difference.
The team leading and making a difference.

Austin has a passion to help the hurting in his community. I think that this is contagious! Over the next few days I want to challenge my readers to take a look at the ministries of IWU Alumni who are being World Changers in their communities. We can learn from these example of people who are contagious! Consider Jay Height, Executive Director at Shepherd Community. Or even the work of Eric Weidman also serving at Shepherd Community. Check out his story.

You may want to consider the work that is being done at The Bowery Mission in New York City. Hear about the ministry that IWU Alumni Daniel Stoltzfus (1995 graduate) is leading. Daniel is serving as Chief Program Officer at The Bowery Mission that has been serving the poor and needy since 1879.  Check out his his story.

Isn’t is contagious?  Like a virus I hope that as these alumni demonstrate selfless acts of kindness in the lives of people that you will also join that effort this Christmas and New Year.

I realize that there are hundreds of similar stories I am not sharing at this time. So, I would like to invite you to tell me about some of those unsung IWU alumni heroes you know. Please send me their story and how they are making a difference in their community. Do you know an IWU alum that is serving the poor? Post their story on our IWU Alumni Facebook wall.

Gift Giving With A Purpose

It’s that time year when you look for that perfect gift for someone who may already have it all. Christmas is a time of giving. We are inundated every day by printed, television and radio ads trying to convince us to buy items that we really don’t need. I have another option to offer you today.

Today’s blog focuses on a more purposeful gift giving opportunity. Students at Indiana Wesleyan University are demonstrating just how gift-giving can be more purpose-filled and make a global difference. A new store under the leadership of the Division of Business provides Christmas shoppers something that helps others in developing countries around the world. The New Under the Sun store located in the Barnes Student Center will be open for two days this week (December 11 and 12) as well as after the New Year providing many gift items that were purchased through relationships of artist and small business owners from around the world. Items are purchased through a fair trade agreement that supports the local wages in communities where jobs are difficult to find because of the economic crises in those countries yet affordable for students. “We have purposefully trying to buy things that are not high-end because we know that most of the student clientèle would not be able to pay for those things,” says Division of Business chair and alumnae Dr. Harriet Rojas ’76 in a recent articles published by IWU’s student paper, IWU Sojourn. The Business’s staff consists of 30 students in Rojas’s small business management class.

Through the unique partnership between students and international artists, people can purchase Christmas gifts and know that they are also supporting international artists whose sole source of income may very well be the sale of their items. This purposeful gift-giving idea can also help “people get out of human trafficking,” says Rojas (Sojourn article). Helping international women remain free and provide a fair wage for their goods is a part of the designed purpose of the store. Rojas continues, “The ultimate objective is for us to be able to have goods in there (the store) that are helping people get out of human trafficking.” Through purchase agreements and the generous support of donors who travel abroad, we can stock the store with many items. It already has received items from India, Nepal, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti, China, Kenya, Vietnam and Mexico. Those traveling abroad should contact Dr. Rojas before simply purchase items for the store. Rojas says that “We are looking for items that have a meaningful story about the items and artists.” Alumni are getting involved with this store.

Recent grad Jacob Wheeler ’12 travels abroad as International Business Developer with PacMoore, Inc and bring back items and the story connected that can be sold through the store. “Jacob will be bringing items from Nepal in just a few days,” says Rojas. Jacob has been very conscience of his impact in the world. As a student he developed and ran the Business as Mission student organization. The student group consulted businesses on how they can make the world a better place. Through his current employment with PacMoore which is a food packaging company is a Business as Mission organization.

Another source for the New Under the Sun store is Janice Cooper Cotrone ’78 who is the connection in Haiti. She served for twenty years as a Missionary and registered nurse serving in Haiti. She makes frequent trips to Haiti. See here story here.

Lorelei Johnson Verlee is a 1972 graduate of IWU who started a business in Fort Wayne, Indiana called Creative Women of the World for the purpose of helping international artists sell their creations in the states. Her mission is “…dedicated to inspiring creative business and marketing solutions for women around the world seeking to rise out of extreme poverty, human trafficking or disaster by the power of their own creativity!”

In an article written in 2013, Business People tell her story.

“As a child of missionaries, I grew up in Japan,” says VerLee. “I came back to the United States and earned my degrees in art. But it wasn’t until I was 56 years old that I got the chance to do mission work that was integrated with art.”

VerLee was asked to volunteer as a product designer and marketing director for HAPI (pronounced “happy”), or Haitian Artisans for Peace International. Four years later, in July of 2011, she incorporated Creative Women of the World (CWoW) because she felt women’s needs circled the globe.

Lorelei is making a difference in our world in a very special way. In a 2012 radio interview by on Midday Matters a program heard on 89.1 WBOI (an NPR Radio program). Lorelei comments, “It is never too late! At 56, I finally found my ultimate life purpose.” She represents a World Changers in a creative way. But it is more than a business. Verlee says, “It’s not just a store,” says VerLee. “CWoW is a non-profit organization and part of a movement that is changing the lives of women in impoverished countries. These women are beautiful and talented, but are often made to feel as if they have nothing to offer because they are resource-deprived.”

Lorelei spoke this past fall on the Marion Campus of IWU telling her story to students during a scholarship luncheon event. “Her consultation helps us redesign the store that opened in September,” says Rojas.

It should also be noted that not only does the store support international artists but it helps IWU students develop business understanding as well. In a recent interview Rojas said, “This store teaches students management and financial skills as well as helping them learn how to be successful while developing their faith.”